Work on the "Why?" pages

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davidnelson davidnelson
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Work on the "Why?" pages

Hi, :-)

I just posted an expanded version of the "Why for Home?" page.

There's quite a bit more text in there. With someone's comment of
"text, text, text..." still ringing in my ears, i feel I'd better
explain my thinking a bit.

My 2 cents is that search engine spiders eat text. They don't parse
graphics and multimedia in that respect, they scan text (although
graphics and multimedia are another means of getting search engine
rankings, when planted properly).

So there's quite a bit of text there, and I've tried to incorporate
lots of useful key words and phases.

The layout is pretty plain-vanilla ATM. Many of the site pages need
imaginative work on the presentation of the page content: boxes,
screenshots, graphics, etc. The "Why at Home?" page is no different.
At that time, there will inevitably be some re-working of the text, to
blend with the new layout, and I'll be happy to work with anybody on
that.

LibreOffice is certainly not in a position to put a lot of money into
paid SE placements at the moment, so we have to work hard on scoring
high in organic results. Text-intensive pages are one means to that.

LibreOffice is bound to gain quite a bit of exposure other than by
search engine results, but we cannot afford not to fight aggressively
on *every* single front. So we have to take as humble an attitude as
the least-read blog on the web, and work to maximize our position in
every way.

Please feel free to make helpful comments and suggestions...

I want to try and work on one page every day or 2 this week... Help is welcome.

HTH.

David Nelson

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italovignoli italovignoli
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

On 02/02/2011 09:51 AM, David Nelson wrote:

> Please feel free to make helpful comments and suggestions...

I have got some comments on the WHY pages that I will try to summarize
ASAP. I didn't have the time to read the pages carefully myself, so I
will add my comments as well.

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Italo Vignoli
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Narayan Aras Narayan Aras
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RE: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by davidnelson

Hi all,

> From: [hidden email]

> I just posted an expanded version of the "Why for Home?" page.
>
> There's quite a bit more text in there. With someone's comment of
> "text, text, text..." still ringing in my ears, i feel I'd better
> explain my thinking a bit.

:) Ok that "someone" was me, and I wrote all why pages originally.

Well, I am surprised that no Graphic Designer is attached to the website project.

I tried to bring in an excellent Graphic designer, but it seems external graphic designers are not welcome until SC or some other team gives him a thorough cavity search. So I dropped the idea.

At present, the website looks exactly like a wiki (and thence the remark "text text text...").
Apart from the LibO logo (which is a mixed up thing, as logos go), there are no graphics at all.
All pages look exactly the same (Home page, L1, L2...), with no visual differential (with color, layout, fonts, breaks...)
The screen space is not divided according to graphic design principles.
The site has no tagline, search or site map (three basic things).

It is assumed that the visitor would be interested enough to stay and soak up all that text (and text and text and...)
He will look through all pages till he finds what he wants (no map, no search).

We do have a wiki for LibO. So the website should be devoted to main points, and for details, the visitor should be taken to the Wiki.

Compare the site with http://www.openoffice.org/ and http://why.openoffice.org/
I am not saying that OOo site is ideal, but at least it has many visual elements to hold the interest of the visitor.

Websites are designed by Graphic Designers, not Engineers.
The text is written by copywriters, not manual-writers (the different is in slant: marketing vs engineering).

Therefore we need graphic designers to redesign the pages.
And copywriters to brush up (and snip away) what we have written.

****
@Role of SEO in success of LibO:

Since LibO is a OpenOffice fork, we actually do not need much help from SEO.
I have already added the metatags to most pages, which should be sufficient to start with

There is a separate page for Libo at Wikipedia, which also should be a big start.
Wikipedia also has Libo in the first place in Open Source apps list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_applications).

A major remaining step is registration with Google ASAP.
Then hits will ramp up within 2-3 months, with careful tuning of metadata.
******
Now that SEO (machine reading/spidering) is out of the way, we must concentrate on HUMAN readers.

How can we hold THEIR interest??

We need to emphasize how LibO is different from the other versions.
That should explained prominently at the website, in terms of (a) philosophy and (b) features.

For example, Novell version of OpenOffice boasts of compatibility with MSO.
Oracle version of OOpenOffice boasts of low download costs because of patch-based updates.

We also should position the product in this cluster of "apparently same" products.

-Narayan
     
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Mike Houben Mike Houben
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

Hi Narayan, *,

that's what I'm also saying (or trying) from the moment I joined the Libreoffice Community,

Am 02.02.2011 um 10:56 schrieb Narayan Aras:

>
> Hi all,
>
>> From: [hidden email]
>
>> I just posted an expanded version of the "Why for Home?" page.
>>
>> There's quite a bit more text in there. With someone's comment of
>> "text, text, text..." still ringing in my ears, i feel I'd better
>> explain my thinking a bit.
>
> :) Ok that "someone" was me, and I wrote all why pages originally.
>
> Well, I am surprised that no Graphic Designer is attached to the website project.

He tries ;) (me)

> I tried to bring in an excellent Graphic designer, but it seems external graphic designers are not welcome until SC or some other team gives him a thorough cavity search. So I dropped the idea.
>
> At present, the website looks exactly like a wiki (and thence the remark "text text text...").
> Apart from the LibO logo (which is a mixed up thing, as logos go), there are no graphics at all.
> All pages look exactly the same (Home page, L1, L2...), with no visual differential (with color, layout, fonts, breaks...)
> The screen space is not divided according to graphic design principles.
> The site has no tagline, search or site map (three basic things).

Short version a book which nobody's gonna read.

> It is assumed that the visitor would be interested enough to stay and soak up all that text (and text and text and...)
> He will look through all pages till he finds what he wants (no map, no search).

Every user (not depending on his history) doesn't read websites. He scans. Even a IT-Guy for an Enterprise doesn't read on the web. I'm reading for the moment some books and I'm gonna make a little review for you all so you can see what you have to put in your mind when you're writing for the web.

> We do have a wiki for LibO. So the website should be devoted to main points, and for details, the visitor should be taken to the Wiki.

+1

> Compare the site with http://www.openoffice.org/ and http://why.openoffice.org/
> I am not saying that OOo site is ideal, but at least it has many visual elements to hold the interest of the visitor.
>
> Websites are designed by Graphic Designers, not Engineers.
> The text is written by copywriters, not manual-writers (the different is in slant: marketing vs engineering).

Papercopywriters <> Webcopywriters

> Therefore we need graphic designers to redesign the pages.
> And copywriters to brush up (and snip away) what we have written.
>
> ****
> @Role of SEO in success of LibO:
>
> Since LibO is a OpenOffice fork, we actually do not need much help from SEO.
> I have already added the metatags to most pages, which should be sufficient to start with
>
> There is a separate page for Libo at Wikipedia, which also should be a big start.
> Wikipedia also has Libo in the first place in Open Source apps list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_applications).
>
> A major remaining step is registration with Google ASAP.
> Then hits will ramp up within 2-3 months, with careful tuning of metadata.
> ******

+1 Google NEVER reads the whole website. It's scanning the whole. But for the SEO only some bytes from the beginning are important!

> Now that SEO (machine reading/spidering) is out of the way, we must concentrate on HUMAN readers.

HUMAN and for possible new users of Libreoffice

> How can we hold THEIR interest??
>
> We need to emphasize how LibO is different from the other versions.
> That should explained prominently at the website, in terms of (a) philosophy and (b) features.
>
> For example, Novell version of OpenOffice boasts of compatibility with MSO.
> Oracle version of OOpenOffice boasts of low download costs because of patch-based updates.
>
> We also should position the product in this cluster of "apparently same" products.
>
> -Narayn

Just my 2 cents!

Mike (Houbsi)


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Stefan Weigel Stefan Weigel
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by Narayan Aras
Hi,

Am 02.02.2011 10:56, schrieb Narayan Aras:

>> From: [hidden email]

>> There's quite a bit more text in there. With someone's comment of
>> "text, text, text..." still ringing in my ears, i feel I'd better
>> explain my thinking a bit.
>
> :) Ok that "someone" was me, and I wrote all why pages originally.

Or was it me ? :-)
See: http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/www/website/msg01599.html

On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 18:57, Stefan Weigel
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> In general: IMO it´s too much text. I fear, a large majority of
> visitors will be deterred by this. Visitors won´t be so patient and
> interested, that they will sit down and read very long.
>
> We have to achieve, that one can tell in seconds that LO
> it as a great, free office suite, and that the visitor
> wants to use it or at least try it.
>
> At this point, certainly a short remark would be helpful, that LO is
> an improvement of the very popular OOo.

Also see: http://why.openoffice.org

Stefan

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davidnelson davidnelson
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by Mike Houben
Hi guys, :-)

On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 17:29, Italo Vignoli <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I didn't have the time to read the pages carefully myself, so I will add my
> comments as well.

Well, I trust you're going to read the content carefully first! :-D



On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 17:56, Narayan Aras <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Well, I am surprised that no Graphic Designer is attached to the website project.

Well, we do have a design team... Ivan and Christoph are heading-up
that aspect right now.


> I tried to bring in an excellent Graphic designer, but it seems external
> graphic designers are not welcome until SC or some other team gives him a thorough cavity search. So I dropped the idea.

Well, I only tried to warn you that you can't "attach" a graphic
designer to the website team as a separate contributor from the design
team... He/she would really have to introduce himself/herself to the
Design team, present ideas for discussion, and get approval that they
comply with the graphic charter, etc.

Narayan, you can't just short-circuit the Design team if you want the
work to be accepted... Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, this
project just doesn't work like that... graphic design and page design
is something being carefully watched over by Christoph and the Design
guys.


> At present, the website looks exactly like a wiki (and thence the remark "text text text...").
> Apart from the LibO logo (which is a mixed up thing, as logos go), there are no graphics at all.
> All pages look exactly the same (Home page, L1, L2...), with no visual differential (with color, layout, fonts, breaks...)
> The screen space is not divided according to graphic design principles.
> The site has no tagline, search or site map (three basic things).

Well, I disagree that it looks like a wiki... it's just that only part
of the work is done: work is needed from the design aspect, as I
originally mentioned, in cooperation with the people working on
content writing.

On the other hand, what you say about wikis suggests that you agree
that a wiki is a facility that is not organized or worked on as
promotional channel, it's a workplace where people store information
as a kind of memory pad. So it's not the place for marketing
LibreOffice. The website is where we fight the promotional battle.


> It is assumed that the visitor would be interested enough to stay and soak up all that text (and text and text and...)
> He will look through all pages till he finds what he wants (no map, no search).
> We do have a wiki for LibO. So the website should be devoted to main points,
> and for details, the visitor should be taken to the Wiki.

No, I disagree with you, Narayan. I don't think the wiki is where the
main selling of the product will be done, it's on the libreoffice.org
site. Like I just said above, the current wiki is a haphazard
collection of pages - it's more of a big notepad or brainstorming
system.

It's not designed or intended to be a marketing and promotional
resource. But libreoffice.org *is*.


> Compare the site with http://www.openoffice.org/ and http://why.openoffice.org/
> I am not saying that OOo site is ideal, but at least it has many visual elements to hold the interest of the visitor.

Yes, like I said, we need graphics and work on page layouts. Those
things are supposed to showcase the content attractively. Now we have
content, we need to work on presenting it nicely. Ivan's already done
some work on CSS styles in that direction. Now I'd like to collaborate
with him (and Houbsi as well, if he's interested in doing some work on
it), and see how we can optimize the presentation inside the pages.


> Websites are designed by Graphic Designers, not Engineers.
> The text is written by copywriters, not manual-writers (the different is in slant: marketing vs engineering).

So which one am I? :-D

> Therefore we need graphic designers to redesign the pages.
> And copywriters to brush up (and snip away) what we have written.

Well, I've written copy. Now we need to work on *presentation*. ;-)


> @Role of SEO in success of LibO:
> Since LibO is a OpenOffice fork, we actually do not need much help from SEO.
> I have already added the metatags to most pages, which should be sufficient to start with

I'd disagree about that... We can't afford to be lax in any area. IMO,
we need to focus very carefully on SEO, because we need to float on
top in organic search results. We are not investing large quantities
of money in sponsored results.


> A major remaining step is registration with Google ASAP.
> Then hits will ramp up within 2-3 months, with careful tuning of metadata.

Yes, work needs to be done with Google Webmaster Tools, as I mentioned
to you before. That goes hand in hand with SEO work on the content.
It's an indisassociable process. Tweak and watch, tweak and watch...

> Now that SEO (machine reading/spidering) is out of the way, we must concentrate on HUMAN readers.
> How can we hold THEIR interest??
> We need to emphasize how LibO is different from the other versions.
> That should explained prominently at the website, in terms of (a) philosophy and (b) features.

This is what we're working on now. The work is partly done from the
"philosophy" viewpoint, in the "Get Involved" section. More work needs
doing on that subject in the "About Us" section, where we can talk a
lot more imaginatively about the community aspects of the project, and
the difference in the development process.

For features, we have the Features section and - during the confcall -
I explained clearly that there is a lot more work to be done on that.

> For example, Novell version of OpenOffice boasts of compatibility with MSO.
> Oracle version of OOpenOffice boasts of low download costs because of patch-based updates.
> We also should position the product in this cluster of "apparently same" products.

No, I don't really agree with you about that. We're not just another
"also-ran", we're not another "another": we need to stand apart as
something different.



On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 19:01, Mike Houben <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Every user (not depending on his history) doesn't read websites.
> He scans. Even a IT-Guy for an Enterprise doesn't read on the web.
> I'm reading for the moment some books and I'm gonna make
> a little review for you all so you can see what you have to put in your
> mind when you're writing for the web.

It will be more practically useful if you just help out with some
actual work. ;-) We've been intending to have a talk about ideas,
right? So let's see when we can get started with some actual work
together. ;-)

Don't just criticize negatively, help put things right with an actual
contribution of work!

See you on Skype?


> Google NEVER reads the whole website. It's scanning the whole.
> But for the SEO only some bytes from the beginning are important!

No, that's an over-simplification. Google will find your search
phrases even when they're buried at the bottom of long documents.
Search engines index entire pages not just the first 150-250 words in
a page. So it's true that you have to work hard on the opening text.
But every single line is a marketing opportunity and a chance to
surface in the search results.



On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 19:10, Stefan Weigel
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Also see: http://why.openoffice.org

OK, let's talk about that site. It contains some 10 or so pages that
vary between 260 to 430 words in length. There are graphics on the
pages, and there has been work on the presentation of the text.

But, IMHO, the content on those pages is not particularly
hard-hitting. One thing that none of you has said anything about is
the actual quality of the content that I wrote. I've tried to be
pertinent to the question posed in the title, and to put convincing
lines and strong arguments. I've given it what I *felt* was a
reasonable shot. :-D Are you sure you can write better? :-D

I'm proposing to pack similar coverage to why.OOo into 5 pages that,
after some post-editing, will probably end up at about 350 to 600
words each. Present that in a nice magazine-type page layout, and
things can look *totally* different.

Sorry, guys, but - personally - I don't agree that a product like
LibreOffice can be effectively marketed by 50 to 150 words per page
and a few nice graphics and screenshots.

It can't provide the information wanted by the diverse market segments
we're chasing. You guys seem to have a very restricted view of our
market. There are plenty of targets out there that want to read
convincing info and arguments. IMHO, that's very much the case with
government, business and other institutional adopters.

Plus, the community segment *also* wants to read information about the
project, which is why sections like "Get Help" and "Get Involved" do
also need to contain a certain amount of textual information, and why
"About Us" needs a whole lot of imaginative work. I've tried not to be
verbose, but I have tried to talk informatively about the facts and
policies of the project.

Once again, I remind you again that I've provided content, and that
now we would need to work on presentation. And we do *also* need
things like big, prominent download buttons, screenshot shufflers and
other multimedia content *in addition* to high-quality text, as well
as division of the text into different blocks.

Plus, in addition, we *also* need to provide downloadable PDFs as
technical data sheets for offllne consumption.

We still have a *great deal of work* that can be done on content.

You can't sell the product or cultivate a community with just a few
fancy Flash animations and a few words on each page!

My 2 cents. Read it all as said with a friendly smile. :-)

David Nelson

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Wheatbix Wheatbix
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by davidnelson
On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 6:21 PM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hi, :-)
>
> I just posted an expanded version of the "Why for Home?" page.

David et al,

I know this will likely be covered in the review of Information and
website architecture that is currently going on, but I have a few
ideas on how these 'why' pages are structured.

We already have information in 'features' as to why each part of the
product is good to use and we cover most of the other topics lower on
the 'why for home' page in the features section.

Personally I would love to see use case examples in the 'why' pages
rather than reiterating what has already been said in the features
section. I have been looking at the 'why for business' pages offline
and trying to put together a proposal in amongst busy work.

For example, 'Why for business' could cover:
Business intelligence and analysis using Calc and Base
Project management using Gantt charts in Calc
Professional presentations using Impress
Report writing with Witer
SixSigma pareto charts with Calc
Scientific journal writing with Math and Writer
*I am currently working on the content for these*

I would love to see us demonstrate cases where the suite works
together to allow the targeted end user to become more productive
during common tasks.

This was my original idea in the IA proposal months ago, and I think
it still makes sense to implement.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

Michael Wheatland

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davidnelson davidnelson
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

Hi Mike, :-)

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 00:11, Michael Wheatland
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I know this will likely be covered in the review of Information and
> website architecture that is currently going on, but I have a few
> ideas on how these 'why' pages are structured.
>
> We already have information in 'features' as to why each part of the
> product is good to use and we cover most of the other topics lower on
> the 'why for home' page in the features section.
>
> Personally I would love to see use case examples in the 'why' pages
> rather than reiterating what has already been said in the features
> section. I have been looking at the 'why for business' pages offline
> and trying to put together a proposal in amongst busy work.
>
> For example, 'Why for business' could cover:
> Business intelligence and analysis using Calc and Base
> Project management using Gantt charts in Calc
> Professional presentations using Impress
> Report writing with Witer
> SixSigma pareto charts with Calc
> Scientific journal writing with Math and Writer
> *I am currently working on the content for these*
>
> I would love to see us demonstrate cases where the suite works
> together to allow the targeted end user to become more productive
> during common tasks.
>
> This was my original idea in the IA proposal months ago, and I think
> it still makes sense to implement.
> Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?
>
> Michael Wheatland

Yes, this makes sense to me. Erm... Is there somewhere I can read your
IA proposal, Mike? Maybe we can work on attack plan for each page, or
maybe you already had some ideas in that respect that we could
develop?

I'd guess that such a study of practical usage examples for each
segment would be likely to go to around 750 words per page, if one is
to give decent coverage without actually writing a book about it. What
are your ideas and estimates about that?

In any case, I'd be very interested to hear more and see this go
forward. Can we work on it together?

David Nelson

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Narayan Aras Narayan Aras
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RE: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by davidnelson

Hi David,

> Well, I only tried to warn you that you can't "attach" a graphic
> designer to the website team as a separate contributor from the design
> team...

And that is exactly what I said, too: The website design starts with IA and wireframe; not with text.
Therefore the Graphic designer is required to be part of the team from the start.
That's why I said I am surprised that such an important resource was missing so far.

How on earth did we straightaway launch text-writing?

I am even more surprised to learn that the layout design is NOW being done, unknown to everyone.
We seem to be designing the website in reverse.
Anyway better late than never.

I only hope that the IA and wireframe are discussed openly.
This is a job to be done by web professionals.

> He/she would really have to introduce himself/herself to the
> Design team, present ideas for discussion, and get approval that they
> comply with the graphic charter, etc.

Of course, a graphic designer cannot work in isolation.
In fact, marketing has to be involved actively in the IA+wireframe design phase, because the entire tone of the site is set by the graphic design.
Also, the graphic designer has to explain how all target customer segments are addressed through the IA+wireframe.

Now that Christoph and others are acting as graphic designer, they also should present their ideas for review.
I hope the design is not settled behind closed doors and unilaterally.
 
> Narayan, you can't just short-circuit the Design team if you want the
> work to be accepted... Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, this
> project just doesn't work like that...

The graphic designer is supposed to propose alternative designs.
Those are supposed to be vetted by the critiques (especially marketing and copywriters).
That is supposed to be the FIRST PHASE of the website design cycle.

But approval of a design is NOT the same as approval of the graphic designer himself.
It is neither warranted nor polite.

> graphic design and page design
> is something being carefully watched over by Christoph and the Design guys.

This is like putting the horse before the cart: The IA+Wireframe have to be finished first.
Also, why haven't we seen any comment on the present state of the website from them?

> > At present, the website looks exactly like a wiki (and thence the remark "text text text...").
> > Apart from the LibO logo (which is a mixed up thing, as logos go), there are no graphics at all.
> > All pages look exactly the same (Home page, L1, L2...), with no visual differential (with color, layout, fonts, breaks...)
> > The screen space is not divided according to graphic design principles.
> > The site has no tagline, search or site map (three basic things).
>
> Well, I disagree that it looks like a wiki... it's just that only part
> of the work is done: work is needed from the design aspect, as I
> originally mentioned, in cooperation with the people working on
> content writing.

OK let us finish that, then! :)

> On the other hand, what you say about wikis suggests that you agree
> that a wiki is a facility that is not organized or worked on as
> promotional channel, it's a workplace where people store information
> as a kind of memory pad. So it's not the place for marketing
> LibreOffice. The website is where we fight the promotional battle.

Correct. But more words does not win us that battle.
The site must be made for SCANNING, not READING.
 

> > It is assumed that the visitor would be interested enough to stay and soak up all that text (and text and text and...)
> > He will look through all pages till he finds what he wants (no map, no search).
> > We do have a wiki for LibO. So the website should be devoted to main points,
> > and for details, the visitor should be taken to the Wiki.
>
> No, I disagree with you, Narayan. I don't think the wiki is where the
> main selling of the product will be done, it's on the libreoffice.org
> site. Like I just said above, the current wiki is a haphazard
> collection of pages - it's more of a big notepad or brainstorming
> system.

The wiki is WIP: It should be put in order.
Many wikis serve as manuals and tutorials also.
Since we have separate odt manuals, our wiki won't be like that.
So we need to fix the scope for the wiki and then work on it.

But keep in mind that wiki is not part of the SEO strategy.
It is meant to provide in-depth reading to people whose mind is already made up in favor of LibO.
So wiki is not required so urgently as the main website.

> It's not designed or intended to be a marketing and promotional
> resource. But libreoffice.org *is*.

See above.

> > Compare the site with http://www.openoffice.org/ and http://why.openoffice.org/
> > I am not saying that OOo site is ideal, but at least it has many visual elements to hold the interest of the visitor.
>
> Yes, like I said, we need graphics and work on page layouts. Those
> things are supposed to showcase the content attractively. Now we have
> content, we need to work on presenting it nicely. Ivan's already done
> some work on CSS styles in that direction. Now I'd like to collaborate
> with him (and Houbsi as well, if he's interested in doing some work on
> it), and see how we can optimize the presentation inside the pages.

That's not how it works. We sre supposed to settle the website design first.
That includes layouts for home page, and other pages.
 
> > Therefore we need graphic designers to redesign the pages.
> > And copywriters to brush up (and snip away) what we have written.
>
> Well, I've written copy. Now we need to work on *presentation*. ;-)

That's not how it works.
This is as good as designing anothe3r website with the content of this one.
So Michael is not off the mark when he proposes that we should have a new, properly designed website.

> > @Role of SEO in success of LibO:
> > Since LibO is a OpenOffice fork, we actually do not need much help from SEO.
> > I have already added the metatags to most pages, which should be sufficient to start with
>
> I'd disagree about that... We can't afford to be lax in any area. IMO,
> we need to focus very carefully on SEO, because we need to float on
> top in organic search results. We are not investing large quantities
> of money in sponsored results.

SEO does not stop with one set of metatags: They need to be replaced based on ranking tests.

The end-purpose of SEO is to bring people to our website or download page.
Since a mention in wikipedia and major review/host sites also has similar effect, we should work on the review/host sites.
(Wikipedia already has LibO well-covered.)

> > Now that SEO (machine reading/spidering) is out of the way, we must concentrate on HUMAN readers.
> > How can we hold THEIR interest??
> > We need to emphasize how LibO is different from the other versions.
> > That should explained prominently at the website, in terms of (a) philosophy and (b) features.
>
> This is what we're working on now. The work is partly done from the
> "philosophy" viewpoint, in the "Get Involved" section.
> More work doing on that subject in the "About Us" section, where we can talk a
> lot more imaginatively about the community aspects of the project, and
> the difference in the development process.
>

No I mean philosophy about how the PRODUCT-DESIGN.
It is about how the focus of LibO is different; not about "how WE are different" or "How we develop it differently".
That is why I mentioned Novell ("MSO-compatible"), and Oracle ("each upgrades with patches"). What is our USP?

So the most appropriate page would be the "What is LibreOffice?" page.
The "About Us" and "Get involved" would not be seen by the potential user.
We want to get his attention by telling him how LibO is different from the rest of the pack.
In that context, philosophy means the consistent direction in which new features will be added.

It could be "optimized to work on tomorrow's notepads", "optimized for cloud technologies", "optimized for collaborative authoring", etc.

This compliments how it is different from the rest of the pack TODAY.

So both these topics should be close to the home page.
Since LibO is the last to enter a field that already crammed with look-alikes, it has to declare how it is superior.

> > For example, Novell version of OpenOffice boasts of compatibility with MSO.
> > Oracle version of OOpenOffice boasts of low download costs because of patch-based updates.
> > We also should position the product in this cluster of "apparently same" products.
>
> No, I don't really agree with you about that. We're not just another
> "also-ran", we're not another "another": we need to stand apart as
> something different.

What I meant is-
Since LibO is a derivative of the OOo, you cannot pitch it as a totally different product for a few years.
So we will have to position LibO in the cluster, but with special unique features.

As the years roll by, our unique philosophy will make us select a different feature-set compared to others.
Thus the different forks will evolve in different directions.

[Stefan Weigel's post starts here...]

> > Also see: http://why.openoffice.org
> OK, let's talk about that site. It contains some 10 or so pages that
> vary between 260 to 430 words in length. There are graphics on the
> pages, and there has been work on the presentation of the text.

Web pages are designed for SCANNING; not READING. So less is more.
This is the critical difference between the main website and a wiki for the same product.
 
> But, IMHO, the content on those pages is not particularly
> hard-hitting. One thing that none of you has said anything about is
> the actual quality of the content that I wrote.

I did write the original. So I like it :)
But not the expansion- I wanted it to get shortened after the graphic design comes in.


> I've tried to be
> pertinent to the question posed in the title, and to put convincing
> lines and strong arguments. I've given it what I *felt* was a
> reasonable shot. :-D Are you sure you can write better? :-D

Sure the graphic designer can do this.
We do NOT use passionate VERBAL arguments on a website. It is VISUAL.

Also, all our arguments are not crammed on a single page anyway: Each topic can be explained with photos and icons on L3 pages.

> I'm proposing to pack similar coverage to why.OOo into 5 pages that,
> after some post-editing, will probably end up at about 350 to 600
> words each. Present that in a nice magazine-type page layout, and
> things can look *totally* different.

A brochure follows entire differently rules compared to site.
Site <> wiki <> brochure.
BTW even brochures do not contain too many words.
 
> Sorry, guys, but - personally - I don't agree that a product like
> LibreOffice can be effectively marketed by 50 to 150 words per page
> and a few nice graphics and screenshots.

And that is why I say website is a specialized subject. It should not be judged by outsiders. :)
It follows totally different rules, and engineers often misjudge it by using their own yardstick.

> It can't provide the information wanted by the diverse market segments
> we're chasing. You guys seem to have a very restricted view of our
> market. There are plenty of targets out there that want to read
> convincing info and arguments. IMHO, that's very much the case with
> government, business and other institutional adopters.

That is why a site has L3 pages, and cross-references to wikis.
For complex products, there are application notes, white papers, video demos - All downloadable from the main site.

> Plus, the community segment *also* wants to read information about the
> project, which is why sections like "Get Help" and "Get Involved" do
> also need to contain a certain amount of textual information, and why
> "About Us" needs a whole lot of imaginative work. I've tried not to be
> verbose, but I have tried to talk informatively about the facts and
> policies of the project.

Those pages descend into working details straightaway.
That should be reserved for an L3 page (or better, for a wiki).

> Once again, I remind you again that I've provided content, and that
> now we would need to work on presentation. And we do *also* need
> things like big, prominent download buttons, screenshot shufflers and
> other multimedia content *in addition* to high-quality text, as well
> as division of the text into different blocks.

> Plus, in addition, we *also* need to provide downloadable PDFs as
> technical data sheets for offllne consumption.
>
> We still have a *great deal of work* that can be done on content.

Yes.

> You can't sell the product or cultivate a community with just a few
> fancy Flash animations and a few words on each page!

Yes. Some websites are built without a central idea, just to show off some fancy effects.
Just like there are presentations with all slide transitions and animations that LibO can come up with.

But professional presentations will not resort to such cheap gimmicks.
Similarly, in a website, the real magic is done by the graphic designer and the copywriter.
The present text can be used as an excellent in-depth briefing to them.
But much remains to be done, yet. By experienced web professionals.

-Narayan
     
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

I have created a page on our wiki so that we can collaborate on the
creation of these pages.
It is important to have a good outline first so we can agree on what
we need to include on these pages before launching into content
creation.

http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Website/Development/Content/Why

Have a look and contribute some ideas.
It would be good to find some images licenced under CC to include in
the article that relate directly to each content item.

Lets try to work in a collaborative way and punch some good quality
pages out within a couple of weeks

Michael Wheatland

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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

On 2/3/11 11:21 AM, Michael Wheatland wrote:

> It is important to have a good outline first so we can agree on what
> we need to include on these pages before launching into content
> creation.

Before filling in contents, please remember that our strategy is to
avoid feature by feature comparison with other office suites. At the
moment, the WHY pages are basically a list of features, and they are not
in line with this strategy. Features have to stay in the feature page.

We can summarize some features, and point readers to the feature page.
In any case, the "why for business" has to be completely different, as
CIOs are looking for different reasons to switch to LO from Microsoft
Office (TCO, ease of migration, stability, robustness, deployment).
Similar story for "why for governments".

The features by feature comparison is what has killed OOo in some
markets, like UK and US. In order to sustain it, you must have a large
advertising budget, and follow Microsoft on their preferred ground. It
is impossibile to achieve.

We have already got a decent press coverage, which is going to drive
visitors to the web site. What we should do is give them a few reasons
to download and try the software. If we think that they will choose LO
based on features, we have already lost.

Ciao, Italo

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RE: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by Wheatbix

Hi Michael,

This wiki is not necessary for these pages, as the advantages for each target customer segment are already identified.
Further, they are GREATLY elaborated on the current website page.

Wiki may be useful for new L3 pages that describe each advantage in further detail.
Or to capture ideas for the pending pages, such as-
* "LibO Philosophy" (Description of what niche it intends to serve)
* Its unique features (preferably a description of how the feature-sets serve the niche)

Regards,
Narayan
     
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM, Narayan Aras <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Michael,
>
> This wiki is not necessary for these pages, as the advantages for each target customer segment are already identified.
> Further, they are GREATLY elaborated on the current website page.

I still think we need to explore the use cases as well as having
information on the specific features of the LibreOffice software. IMO
focussing on the way people use LibreOffice rather than the features
of the product itself is important on these pages.
Have a look at the wiki page and you will see what I mean.

Michael Wheatland

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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by Narayan Aras
On 2/3/11 11:39 AM, Narayan Aras wrote:

> This wiki is not necessary for these pages, as the advantages for each target customer segment are already identified.
> Further, they are GREATLY elaborated on the current website page.

Wrong. I would rather prefer to take away the pages as they are now,
especially the "why for business" which is exactly what we should not
tell businesses (I have had comments from CIOs who have switched to OOo,
and are very negative).

If the pages stay as they are, I will ask the SC to issue a formal
request for taking them out, and I will do this soon.

Sorry, but what has been GREATLY elaborated, as you say, has been
elaborated in the wrong way and using wrong assumptions (I might be
wrong, and I recognize that I have not been able to devote the needed
time to website development, but I was focused on other tasks, but I do
not remember to have talked about "why" pages with David, and that was
the time when I focused for a while on the web site).

The fact that you find "why" pages on MS Office and OOo web sites IS NOT
a good enough reason to have them on the LibreOffice web site.

The fact that the general marketing theory speaks about "why" web pages
or leaflets or brochures IS NOT a good enough reason for us to do the same.

We have been workign with REAL OOo users for several years now, and we
try to avoid past mistakes (where Sun was responsible for most of these
mistakes based on a limited understanding of REAL users).

I hope this makes the concept more understandable for everyone.

Ciao, Italo

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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

Hi Italo, :-)

I've unpublished the pages.

David Nelson

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RE: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by Italo Vignoli-2

Hi Italo,

When David wanted me to write the "Why" pages, my first reaction was that these pages should be written by the marketing team. But he wanted to finish them, so I did the job after studying how OOo positioned themselves.

Right from the beginning, I have repeatedly asked how LO is positioned, but never got the reply.
How is a website copywriter supposed to write without that critical insight?

And now I am in the embarrassing position of having that article revoked/reworked.

I do think your inputs should have come before I wrote those pages.

Why do SC-members have to reverse everything post-facto while remaining inert when it counts?
I don't buy this "no time" concept. You wasted my time and effort through your tardiness, and I don't like it.

****
My point to Mike was that the same points were already listed in the website, and elaborated by David.

I didn't mean it was a great job; just that it was described in great (more) details.

****
I also gave you a detailed feedback on the logo/tagline for the website.
I hope you will have the professional courtesy to reply that mail (remember it is there on wiki too).


-Narayan
     
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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by davidnelson
On 2/3/11 1:29 PM, David Nelson wrote:

> I've unpublished the pages.

Hi David, I did not mean to be a dictator to this extent... I wanted to
make clear the point that we must find a better solution, and sometimes
I make strong statement just to try to convince people that do not seem
to listen too much to other opinions.

In fact, the "why at home" was not that bad, provided that the focus on
features is less prominent (which should not be a real problem, playing
with words). The "why for business" and "why for government" definitely
need some more thinking, and I will try to write at least a background
for other people to build on it.

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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by Narayan Aras
On 2/3/11 2:27 PM, Narayan Aras wrote:

> I do think your inputs should have come before I wrote those pages.

Yes, it is true, but I did not have the time.

> Why do SC-members have to reverse everything post-facto while remaining inert when it counts?
> I don't buy this "no time" concept. You wasted my time and effort through your tardiness, and I don't like it.

Sorry, this "no time" concept belongs to volunteer work. I have told
several times that if there is a specific issue someone should send me
an email and/or ping me on Skype. I have a daily job, a family, friends
and TDF, and I have been involved in the community for over seven years
and no one has ever complained about my availability.

A community project is by definition a slow moving project, because is
based on voluntary work. This is a fact and not a choice. If you do not
feel comfortable with this situation, I do not think that we can easily
find a solution.

> I also gave you a detailed feedback on the logo/tagline for the website.

The logo and tagline situation is evolving. Now there is a logo without
tagline, and I think that there will be further evolutions.

> I hope you will have the professional courtesy to reply that mail (remember it is there on wiki too).

Sorry, but I am not supposed to reply to every email, especially if I am
working in a different direction (and I think it was clear I was working
at the launch activities).

You have the right to think that I am unpolite, and sometimes I am, but
that email will not be answered (even if is on the wiki).

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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

In reply to this post by davidnelson
On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 9:59 PM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I've unpublished the pages.

I would love if someone would comment on the suggested page content on
the wiki page that I have setup for developing these pages.
These pages are important for marketing the product for specific
purposes and tasks related to each target market.

Again, instead of working in different directions and then having a
competition to see which is selected, lets get onto the wiki, where we
can collaborate to create some content which exceeds anyone's ability
when working alone.
The people who have the skills building websites are here and the
website team has the authority and mandate to create and improve the
site without any more approvals/proposals to any other part of the
community, as long as we get a consensus within the community about
any changes. The whole community owns the website, not any one
individual or group, but it is our responsibility to compromise and
collaborate with everyone to achieve a great outcome.

http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Website/Development/Content/Why

Michael Wheatland
P.S. David, I would suggest you ask if there is any objections before
swooping in and changing/unpublishing someone else's work. Especially
if this is based on one, albeit valued and respected, opinion.

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Re: Work on the "Why?" pages

On 2/3/11 3:37 PM, Michael Wheatland wrote:

> I would love if someone would comment on the suggested page content on
> the wiki page that I have setup for developing these pages.
> These pages are important for marketing the product for specific
> purposes and tasks related to each target market.

I will, as soon as I can.

> Again, instead of working in different directions and then having a
> competition to see which is selected, lets get onto the wiki, where we
> can collaborate to create some content which exceeds anyone's ability
> when working alone.

Perfect. Let's make this a community effort.

> P.S. David, I would suggest you ask if there is any objections before
> swooping in and changing/unpublishing someone else's work. Especially
> if this is based on one, albeit valued and respected, opinion.

I agree.

I have expressed my position very strongly, but the objective was not to
have the pages unpublished immediately (also, my opinion should have
been seconded by the entire SC, and it might not be shared by the majority).

Please agree on the following (without any order):

1. We are very happy to have a web site up and running.

2. Now, we need some time to look at contents with a more strategic
approach and make the necessary changes.

3. Thinking needs time, so this step will take some time (and we all
have 24 hours available, a family, a job, friends, and the right to
relax every now and then).

4. We are not in a race: we have a stable software out, we have had
quite a coverage on media, we have a roadmap, and we are happy.

5. Nothing that is on the web site today is really dangerous today
(including the "why" pages).

6. Every single page on the web site might be improved.

7. We are in for the long run.

8. Shit happens, no one is perfect, we are all humans, and so on.

9. The most important feature of any community member is to work with
the community, and not to show how good he is or how smart he his or how
strong he his.

10. Respect others, and you will be respected.

11. You will always lose some time doing useless things, before they
show they are useless.

12. Good work will never be lost (yes, I refer to "why" pages: they
simply have to be reworded, as with small exceptions the contents are
good but use the wrong language).

13. In a community, "I" does not exist as it has been replaced by "we",
and yes WE have got a great media coverage even if I have been featured
more than others (the hidden advantage of being a spokesperson).

14. WE all rock, but please do remember that either we have fun or we
probably have something better to do.

I stop, and I'm done for the day.

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